Undergraduate Research

Doing Research

Undergraduate research and creative activity foster independent learning and complement coursework in meaningful, self-enriching ways.

It is an academic/creative inquiry conducted by an undergraduate that employs discipline-specific methodologies and results in a product notable for its originality, rigor and/or creativity. Suitable products include essays, reports, experiments, artworks or performances. Research opportunities are available in all fields of study, including the humanities, social sciences, natural sciences, applied sciences and fine arts.

Undergraduate research and creative activity is:

  • Facilitated by the the Office of Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity (OURCA)
  • Presented at the annual Paideia conference
  • Published in The Cupola student journal
  • Fostered by the Undergraduate and Graduate Research Committee
  • Supported by a variety of organizations and awards, including the Douglas K. Gordon Endowed Undergraduate and Graduate Research Fund

The OURCA is an enhanced member of the Council on Undergraduate Research.

Who It Benefits

  • You
    Undergraduate researchers benefit from close mentoring relationships with faculty members and gain valuable skills that will help you in the classroom. Presentations at Paideia and publications in The Cupola impress graduate schools and employers alike!
  • Your campus
    The focus on undergraduate research and creative activity is one of the things that makes CNU unique. As an undergraduate researcher, you'll contribute to a vibrant interdisciplinary conversation that influences peers as well as professors.
  • Your world
    Research at every level has practical ramifications for the way we view human actions and the world in which those actions occur. Undergraduate research and creative work encourages fellow Captains to understand, analyze and act positively in the world beyond the Great Lawn.

Getting Started

Any student can get involved with Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity.

To take your first steps into the world of undergraduate research and creative activity, you'll need to find a project and a faculty mentor.

  • Think about the classes you like and the assignments/readings that interested you. In every field, there's always more work to be done. Assignments can be a springboard to larger projects.
  • Talk to a professor who teaches or researches in a field that inspires you. Your professors are researchers too, and they're always aware of unsolved problems/intriguing challenges in the field.
  • Connect with the director of undergraduate research and creative activity. He is committed to fostering student research and creative activity at CNU and can help pair you with a faculty mentor.
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